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The Dominican Republic has some of the most exhilarating beaches that you would find in this world. The luxurious beaches are a great hub for tourists from all around the world. However, it is not only beaches that this place has to offer- the geography is varied and you will get everything from lush forest vegetation to mountains to semi-arid regions all over the country. There are numerous resorts on the beaches of Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, and La Romana which are ideal tropical escapes for many tourists. If you are looking for something offbeat and away from the crowds, you could head to the Samaná Peninsula which hides away the mountains. There are places where you could surf or kiteboard to your heart's content! So, if you are looking forward to exploring nature, basking under the sun on a secluded beach, or just some quiet time away from your daily life. Keep reading to find out the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana is one of the most premier beach locations to be found in the Dominican Republic. There are long stretches of beautiful, white, sandy beaches extending through the coastline and washed by the clear, blue waters of the Caribbean. What sets this destination apart from the erst are the many luxury resorts that constitute all the fun things that you could be doing at a beach destination. Whether you are looking for a couple's retreat or just want to hang out with your family, this is the perfect destination to be away from your daily life. Bavaro Beach is one of the most famous among all the beaches that Punta Cana has to offer. There are lines of resorts along the beach allowing you easy access into the wide expanse of endless sea in front.
While swimming in Punta Cana, you should be aware to remain within the roped-off region as these constitute safer areas to enjoy yourself in the water. There are also many restaurants and cafes in this area, with a modernistic appeal, to simply chill and not care about anything else in the world. You should remember that this is a popular destination among tourists and if you are looking for a quiet time, this isn't the place for you to be in.
Zona Colonial in Santo Domigo
If you want to take a step back in time and be transported to another era, Zona Colonial will give you the best treat! Santo Domigo happens to be the first place in the new world to be discovered by Christopher Columbus back in the day. The colonial architecture is very prevalent in this area and you could still see immense buildings constructed way back in the past. These buildings line the streets in Zona Colonial and now houses museums, cafes and restaurants, hotels, and so on!
This is a popular place to immerse yourself in the culture of this amazing place while you learn about its history. Calle El conde is one of the most popular areas of the place if you are looking forward to shopping for souvenirs or enjoying scrumptious meals Caribbean style! The place has much to offer in terms of colonial architecture and you would find some of the best ruins ever, such as that of Monasterio de San Francisco. You could also see standing architectural work in well-preserved buildings such as the Catedral Primada de América or the very first cathedral in the Americas. Enjoying some delectable food in the hot and humid weather or walking through to locate the 450-year-old hotel you are staying at could be a unique experience for you and Zona Colonial has much of it to offer!
Situated along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and washed by the Atlantic Ocean lies the beautiful beaches of Playa Dorada. It is one of the finest beaches in the Dominican and draws tons of tourists every year. The beach destination is complemented by Puerto Plata, a resort destination in this area. The golden beaches of Playa Dorada are a great place to hang out at and what’s better, these beaches are much less crowded than Punta Cana.
This is a much more subdued region and the atmosphere has a great feeling of tranquillity. Boats are not that common a sight in the sea in this region and water sport activities is also a minimum. This makes the waters just the right place to enjoy a cool refreshing swim under the hot sun. You could also go snorkeling among the waves and have a great time doing so! There are also many unexplored, hidden beaches in this region, fringed by pam forests for you to explore.
If you want to experience a laid-back lifestyle among cool waves and look out into an excellent crescent-shaped beach, you should head to Cabaret. The beach is lined with all kinds of resorts, hotels, and restaurants where you can chill and relax. The restaurants have taken up a more innovative style in this region and you could enjoy a hot, delicious meal right on the beaches. Unlike the more popular beach destinations such as Punta Cana or Puerto Plata, you will not get all-inclusive deals in the resorts and hotels in this region. The place caters more to the heart and whims of the free-spirited backpackers. It is also an excellent place to go if you are looking for water activities such as surfing or kiteboarding.
Cabarete is just a few miles away from the nearby Puerto Plata and you could visit the place as a day trip while in the area. If you are here during the weekend or on a Tuesday evening, you might be lucky enough to find some musician performing in the beachfront restaurants for your pleasure.
The small town of Las Galeras is situated at the far end of the Samaná Peninsula, where the road suddenly ends on to the endless ocean. Unlike the golden beaches of Puerto Plata, you will get a much more pristine, clearer view here with the white beaches washed by turquoise ocean water. The location is also very remote allowing independent travelers to easily find some quiet, cozy time away from the daily hustle of life. The palm-lined beaches could be one of the most idyllic scenes that you have ever seen.
There are many excellent beaches to browse through and explore while in this region. Some of the more popular ones are Playa Rincon, La Playita, and Playa Fronton while there are also miles of underdeveloped beaches waiting to be explored. You could even take a boat in the mornings or afternoons to take you to some of the remote beaches that are being talked about. Though there is only one main street passing through the town, the many restaurants lining the streets are run by French ex-pats and offer some of the most delectable cuisines in the Dominican Republic. You will find greater options among the restaurants built around the mountainous region more towards the interiors of the peninsular region.
If you are planning a trip to the Dominican Republic somewhere between December to March, you should make it a point to visit Samaná Bay. During this time, humpback whales flock to this place, coming here to mate and give birth to offspring, making the place an excellent haunt for whale-watching. The main departure point for such whale watching tours is from the city of Samaná on the Peninsula. There is not much else that you could be doing while in this region and a day trip to this place would suffice your hunger to explore the unexplored.
Bahia de Las Aguilas
Bahia de Las Aguilas does not lie on the route generally taken by the tourists and is a remote destination, part of the Jaragua National Park. It features a stunning stretch of beach spanning over 8km of land and always remaining relatively empty. This is one of the freshest, most unexplored beaches in the Dominican Republic, boasting pristine white sand washed by electrifying but calm waves from the surrounding ocean.
The isolated area is located towards the southwestern side of the Dominican, nearby the borders of Haiti. It will take you about 6 hours from Santo Domigo if you are driving to this beach town. Pedernales is the nearest town to the pristine beaches and it will take you a further one hour from the town to the beach. There are no luxury resorts with all-encompassing packages in this region. However, if you are looking for peace, quiet, calm, solitude, and an atmosphere of tranquillity, no other location could be as stunning as this beach. If you are lucky, you might also have the beach all to yourself. You would also be fascinated to see that the vegetation here is quite different from the rest of the Dominican, being semi-arid and filled with cacti instead of palm forests.
La Romana is one of the resort destinations in the Dominican Republic, not very far away from Punta Cana. This place too has welcoming and elusive beaches to offer to dreary travelers. This is a popular destination among tourists especially because of Altos de Chavón. It is an exact replica of an artisan’s village from the 16th century and thus a great place to look for souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones. You could also go to the nearby fishing town Bayahibe while you are staying in La Romana and spend some time on the public beach in this region. Trips to Isla Saona are scheduled from this area regularly.
If you are traveling from Puerto Plata or Cabarete and ging to Santo Domigo or vice versa, Jarabacoa will fall in your way. It is generally a destination to rest while making the long journey between the two beach towns. However, it is an impressive place to be in and should be in your Dominican Republic itinerary. Jarabacoa is about 500 m above sea level and thus the climate is pretty mild- most vacationers consider it to be a summer retreat. At nights, the temperatures might also be regarded to be cold. Being a mountainous region, there are many options for adventure activities such as trekking, hiking, biking, rafting, and so on!
One of the most adventurous things for thrill-seekers to do in the Dominican Republic would be to visit Damajagua. The task ahead would be simple- climb to the top of narrow gorges of waterfalls and then jump onto the resulting pool of water underneath! If heights affect you or you are not likely to jump, this is not the place for you. However, adventure enthusiasts can revel in all the glory of this place. You will be fitted with a life-jacket and helmet for your protection and a tour guide would accompany you as you make the trek through the gorges. Beware that's one of the falls is very high and if you are feeling uncomfortable doing a particular fall, you can always step back. There are 27 such waterfalls in the area for you to be exploring!
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